Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

On Legacy Trail, a Different Way to Ride

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

On Legacy Trail, a Different Way to Ride

Article excerpt

SARASOTA COUNTY

SURREY: Pedal-powered, four-wheeled cycle has some loyal passengers

Margaret Sanzone never rode a bike before in her life. But thanks to the Legacy Trail in south Sarasota County she is now a regular rider.

"This is the fourth time I've been; I'm addicted," Sanzone, 90, said recently during yet another Legacy Trail surrey ride.

The four-wheeled, fringed cycle is manned by volunteers through Friends of the Legacy Trail and runs from Laurel Park south about two miles and turns around before reaching U.S. 41.

The surrey program was designed with the mobility-challenged in mind, but anyone can ride. People ages 3 to 95 have enjoyed Legacy Trail from underneath its striped canopy. Volunteer pedaler Sarah Calabrese said on average 75 people a month are riding the surrey.

"We had a grandma, grandpa, kids, and grandkids go out," President Mike Gippert said, "There were 12 of them, so they brought bikes and rode along with the kids trading out bikes for the surrey along the way."

The surrey has nine seats in three rows but only holds six comfortably, so tours are scheduled to accommodate four passengers at a time with two volunteer pedalers. Reservations can be made up to two months in advance on the Sarasota County's website, and rides are free.

Also free is the wealth of knowledge from the volunteer pedalers. As the tour began, Calabrese immediately pointed out the community garden in Laurel Park, letting passengers know it is one of the oldest in the county.

As the surrey crossed over Dona Bay, she offered up its history and proper pronunciation. The bay was named after a boat parked there years ago; the owner's wife was Dona, pronounced Doh-nah in Spanish, not Donna like the locals call it.

The surrey also stops at trail signs along the way. Some signs cater to historical interest about the area and others to nature. …

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